On Tuesday 19th January local sculptor Ken Martin was guest speaker at the Rotary Dinner meeting. He outlined his life’s journey from Tailem Bend where he was a shearer to joining the group that came to Port Lincoln and formed Constantia a company that manufactured quality furniture, at least one piece of which finished up in Parliament House Canberra.
Ken turned his hand to carving some of the pieces created at Constantia and when that company ceased operation in 1986 Ken with the support of his wife decided to try his hand at wood sculpting for a living. After some 30 years of sculpting wood and then bronze he has completed some 50 major wood carvings and approx 60 significant bronzes, one of the later ones being Makybe Diva as seen on our foreshore.
Ken has done many smaller works on all manner of subjects and is exhibited in 7 Major Academies, all of his work is very labour intensive, and he has had to learn how different timbers colour with age so that the finished article will be the right colour. Some pieces have more than 100 different pieces of wood inlaid so that the finished article has the correct appearance.
He has travelled the world studying techniques, styles and materials, Ken has completed some significant commissions since Makybe Diva, a current problem is obtaining wood pieces big enough and good enough for his purposes. Our members enjoyed Ken’s story and intricate explanations of his methods. He quipped that to sculpt a horse is easy all you do is take a piece of wood big enough and knock off all the bits that don’t look like a horse.